fitness park einstein

WATER CRYSTAL

MIGROS OSTSCHWEIZ FITNESS PARK EINSTEIN , ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND, 2003.

new construction, completion and design of the interior, competition, first prize.

the proposed atrium brings light to the pool which functions as a water crystal and forwards the transformed light down to the three floors of the fitness area. the function of the pool to redirect and transform light for the lower floors is on a conceptual level the one of a virtual medium and lens for spatial, functional, ideological and psychological contents. it redirects the sunrays in multiple directions, serving as a symbol of the power of health redirecting people's lives.

the competition's text stated that the pool should ideally be placed on the fourth floor, in order to accommodate engineering concerns. from the architectural point of view, the pool's position is ideal to absorb light, transform it and bring it down to all floors below. on the top floor, the pool's position asks for a classical atrium, providing light, air and contemplation for the guests. It can be opened in summer time. the reference on the webpage is to a villa in pompeji, showing a typical roman atrium villa from the first century before christ. the glass bottom of the pool allows for the atmospheric use of the light in the fitness area, functioning as a membrane for transcendence and metamorphosis of light. the play of light in the moving water, inspired by the shadows of the people, the bubbles of the blowing nozzles and the treatment of the glass, create the distinctive atmosphere for the fitness area. intimacy of the swimmers is guaranteed, as are the attraction and seducing power of the pool's light seen form below. the wellness bouquet of relaxation is waiting to come for anybody working out. at nighttime, the light changes form natural to artificial, being a spectacle for all the guests arriving at that time. the pool, as a functional chandelier of special size and configuration, brings constant cooling to the heated fitness area; blue in contrast to red.

the organization of the fitness park is directed by the position of the pool. there are two staircases; one that leads alongside the pool from the first to the fourth floor and one that is situated underneath it. the former is from the first to the third floor for clients in street clothes arriving from the city to work out and in a second separated phase from the second to the fourth floor for guests in swimsuits after the workout. this staircase consists of two overlaying loops, separating the other guests from those in swimsuits. the latter one is for fitness users and wide open, underneath the water crystal, accompanied on its way down by a cascade with cardio machines, providing an experience to the guests that goes beyond a regular use of stairs. the vertical circulation in the fitness area is an adventure space, dedicated to the water's appearance as a cupola like appearance on top. these two staircases allow for complete separation of the three described circulation flows; they do not cross. on the first floor the rooms for classes such as aerobics are situated. they are placed at the facade of the building, for it is ideal to put health in proximity to natural light and air. the second and third floors provide the fitness area and the locker-rooms. the sauna on the fourth floor is positioned around three sides of the pool, taking part at the pool's access to the atrium, where the views project to the infinite of the sky, and relaxation becomes timeless.